From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Artie is a happy little lion, and he's supposed to hunt rabbits. Julie is a happy little rabbit, and she's supposed to avoid lions. Their tedious stories are told simultaneously, on pages that have been cut in half. "Artie's story" fills the top portion of the book, with "Julie's story" below. Each animal dutifully submits to its parent's training until finally, after many grueling lessons, both are ready to set out for the grasslands alone. But they stop at the jellyberry patch instead, where they are caught in a storm and seek shelter in the same dark cave. The two sworn enemies spend the rest of their day playing together, and then go home. Chen's illustrations are winsome enough and feature a cool palette, smiling critters, and variegated landscapes. But the format doesn't work well: the pages stubbornly flop shut and get mixed up, and it's a struggle even for adult hands to keep them in order. If nothing else, this pitched battle keeps readers busy and interested, because the story doesn't.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Selected as one of ten 2009 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts by the NCTE's Children's Literature Assembly committee. The list honors books
that "demonstrate uniqueness in the use of language or style; involve word play, word origins, or the history of language; and invite child response or participation."
"Chen follows up a celebration of unlikely siblings in Guji Guji (2004) with an equally captivating look at an unusual friendship. As related in parallel split-page narratives, Artie the lion gets extensive instruction from his father in hunting yummy rabbits, while Julie the rabbit's father carefully trains her to escape fierce lions. Simultaneously venturing out into the wild, the two younglings stuff themselves on jellyberries, take refuge from a storm in the same cave and instantly bond . . . A worthy addition to any "waging peace" list. Kirkus Reviews